Vandalism may cost estate its bins

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A SPATE of vandalism on an estate playing field could result in litter bins being removed altogether, a council has said.

The bins at St Olaves Field on the Howard Estate, in Bury St Edmunds, have already been replaced several times this year.

“It is a health and safety issue for children and other users of the field,” said Cllr Mark Ereira-Guyer. “Without getting too graphic, there are bags of dog mess in those bins.

“People are knocking over the bins, particularly at night time, and the result is that we get rubbish strewn all over the playing field.”

St Edmundsbury Borough Council has already replaced at least three bins in the last six weeks.

Mark Walsh, head of waste management at the council, said the costs of that work, which would be pushing towards the £1,000 mark, if it continued, would eat into a large proportion of the council’s bin budget for the whole of the borough.

“Unless we can collectively get on top of this spate of vandalism we may be forced to remove the amenity, which would be terrible for the vast majority who use it,” he said. “It is obviously being carried out by a minority but it is a causing a problem that is costly and unsightly,

The council is already working with the police, local schools and the residents’ group to try to over come the problem without having to resort to removing the bins.

Cllr Ereira-Guyer, who represents the estate on the council, said the removal of the bins was a last resort.

“We really have got to get the community to help the council and help themselves by identifying these culprits. Budgets are incredibly tight, we have got cuts all over the place.

“This is a well used resource particularly by children going to school and people walking their dogs, and this vandalism is unacceptable.”